Last week I gave you this delightful jar of ‘cave snot’ to have a go at identifying:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, nobody came close to identifying what this is. I didn’t have a clue until I dived in and dissected out a small sample:
Notice the little critter on the left of the image? This immediately made it much more obvious what this stuff was – not something living in its own right but something produced by an animal.
Removing the goop reveals what we’re really dealing with:
I think I’ve given you all the images needed to work out what this is, so rather than just tell you, I’m making this part 2 of the mystery object, with quite a lot more to go on than the first post. So, as usual, you can put your questions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below. Have fun!
Sure you didn’t fly to Cadiz to collect this?
Now I look at it, you are so clearly right. This is what comes from never going fishing. Old hairywings eh?
I want to say malacostracan. For no good reason except I think you (or was it someone else on facebook?*) recently shared a piece on taxonomic bias and how birds got the most citations and the poor malacostracans the fewest (if the “expected” number should correspond to how speciose they are – birds are hugely over-reported on and insects and others are hugely under-reported on, which can have an impact on conservation efforts as much as anything).
In any case, I shall start by noting it is an obvious arthropod, but I have still to figure out if it is the nymph version of a metamorphic animal or an adults/reproductive stage.
More later, before I come the raw prawn…
https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsIt looks like my good buddy Phil, notice that membranous T-shaped labrum, only one scelrotized abdominal segment, and black band (the family always reminds me of wearing tuxedos for no good reason). Caught me and kept me in their net once I saw them, my favorite caddis family for sure.
A most excellent answer!